Sautéed Calamari with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Basil

Spadellata di Calamari


1 lb. whole calamari or ¾ pound cleaned calamari rings
½ cup Italian style breadcrumbs
6 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
6 sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, thinly sliced, about 1/3 (one third) cup
¼ cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
4 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
Zest of 1 lemon, grated (2 teaspoons)
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups chopped arugula (2 bunches)
Yield: 6 generous appetizer portions
Printable Version
To clean whole squid: Rinse thoroughly. Pull the tentacles from the body sac. Clean the tentacles by cutting just below the eyes and retaining just the leg portion. Turn back the tentacles and squeeze gently to reveal the bead-like "beak." Pinch off the beak and discard. Gently squeeze out all of the viscera from the squid tubes making sure to remove the hard, transparent "quill" that runs the length of the interior wall. Peel the purplish skin from the outside of the tube. Rinse and pat dry. Slice the squid tubes into rings and cut the tentacles in half if they are very large. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Toss the calamari with the breadcrumbs. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large non-stick sauté pan over medium high heat until the oil sizzles. Pat excess breadcrumbs from the calamari and fry until firm and golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Remove the calamari from the pan and wipe out any excess crumbs from the pan so they do not burn. In the remaining olive oil, cook the onion, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, basil, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper until the onions are tender and the pine nuts start to brown, 6-8 minutes. Return the calamari to the pan and toss until well-coated and just cooked through, about 2 minutes more.
Toss the hot squid mixture with the chopped arugula and lemon juice until the arugula wilts slightly. Serve.
©2013 Nick Stellino Productions